Sean Keil, the founder of Renaissance Movement LLC, discovered parkour at the ripe old age of 12. Eschewing his history as a professional dancer, he followed parkour full-force, traveling extensively to train with top parkour masters and even some of the inventors of the sport. Together he and his staff have developed a community in which they help students develop the necessary skills, both physical and mental, to practice the discipline of parkour in a safe environment.
Pole Expression founder Jennifer Wilkins blazes an alternative path to fitness by formulating pole-based workouts that are as fun as they are functional. A fitness columnist for Pole2Pole magazine who's also been on its cover, Wilkins has a strong industry presence that's won her and her method awards in Pole Dance International magazine for Best Instructor and Best Training Method. She's also a sponsor and a judge at the nation's largest pole-dancing championship.
Eschewing pole-bound acrobatics in favor of muscular isolations, the studio’s signature JW Pole Fitness classes utilize the signature support beam as a prop to help create muscle stability and burn calories, all without risk of injury. Because it doesn’t involve spins or inversions, the JW method is appropriate for students of any fitness level, and can even be employed to assist those overcoming injury or a childhood fear of lampposts. For those looking for a higher-energy exercise routine, pole-dancing classes exalt feminine curves through a graduated program that guides dancers from grounded moves to gymnastics-inspired toning to the saving of flags stuck high atop the Space Needle.
More traditional fitness comes in the form of Turbo Kick and yoga, which fosters flexibility through aligned posture and held poses, as well as Pilates classes, during which instructors target the torso's core muscles to boost bodily stability without fashioning toe rings made of lead. Check the studio's class calendar for a schedule of upcoming sessions.
Unlike jumping onto a treadmill, Fit Club Utah’s exercises require a little briefing. The instructor may explain, for example, just what one does with the giant sledgehammer resting on a recalcitrant-looking truck tire. But once the tutorials are through, students jump into high-octane action, swinging the hammer through the air and flipping the tire end over end to build rippling muscle and amp up cardio strength. To keep the sessions engaging, instructors create new routines, filled with box jumps and sprinting, and modify exercises to each client’s individual fitness level or desire not to sweat in their workout tuxedo.
Gold’s Gym lures fitness seekers from all walks of life with cardio decks, strength-training equipment, and aerobics rooms filled with energizing classes. Instead of reciting Shakespearean monologues as they jog and pedal, guests can watch movies in a cardio theater lined with treadmills, bikes, and an oversize projection screen. Free weights encourage biceps to bulge, and resistance machines tone arms, abs, and legs. Sports lovers dribble basketballs and volley racquetballs on shiny courts (available at most locations), raising their heart rates as they hone hand-eye coordination. Like the nightly news, Zumba classes take an hour and set Latin-inspired dance moves that vaporize calories to vibrant world music, along with a slew of available selections, including cardio and spin classes. Consult each location’s webpage for a class schedule and a list of additional amenities, which range from childcare to personal training (not included in today’s Groupon).